Christmas ShnauzerYou and your senior pet have probably been through alot together. New homes, new relationships, job changes, and maybe even new family members. However, just because you two have seen so many years together doesn’t mean the experiences need to end because your pet is getting older.

Older pets benefit from interaction and exercise just as much as their younger counterparts. In fact, keeping your senior citizen active can help to him or her to life a longer and healthier life. Keep reading to get some inspiration for activities for the senior pet.

Keeping Them Moving with Physical Activity

Keeping older pets active has numerous health benefits including weight management, arthritis relief, and improved muscle tone. However, exercise routines may need to be modified to accommodate the needs of your older animal. Talk with The Pet Experts a`t Naperville Animal Hospital to be sure that your furry friend is cleared for the activity you have in mind. Keeping up with your pet’s senior wellness care is a great opportunity to be sure that you are providing the right kind of physical activity and know about any limitations.

Always pay attention to your older pet’s physical cues. If he or she is lagging behind, breathing heavily, or becomes disinterested, that is often your cue that the work is too much.

Encourage physical activity by:

  • Taking a walk in a new place such as at a forest preserve or walking path
  • Weather permitting, letting your pet swim in a safe area
  • Setting up a small obstacle course in your backyard or living room
  • Playing hide and go seek with your pet
  • Playing a game of fetch
  • Breaking out the laser pointer
  • Teaching your pet a new trick that encourages muscle movement, such as walking backwards

Mental Stimulation Activities for the Senior Pet

Just as older people can begin to have memory problems, so can older animals. Keeping your pet mentally stimulated is a great way to be keep your four legged friend’s memory sharp. Great ways to engage your pet include:

  • Finding a fun trick (check for pet trick books at the library) to teach your pet
  • Visiting a friend or relative
  • Starting a training class or work towards a certification such as Canine Good Citizen
  • Finding a puzzle toy or treat ball your pet likes
  • Hiding treats or toys and teaching your pet to find them
  • Rotating toys regularly

Physical and mental stimulation are cornerstones of keeping your older pet sharp, but don’t forget how important social interaction is as well. Grooming, snuggling, and just loving on your pet is an essential part of his or her care.

Activities for the senior pet don’t really have to be anything special. Older animals can do just about anything a younger pet can do, although sometimes there does need to be some adjustments made. Make an effort to keep your pet physically, mentally, and socially engaged and you will be amazed with the results!